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Stafford Creek’s Favorite Author, Garth Stein, Visits Yet Again!

Friday, May 22nd, 2015 Posted in Articles, For Libraries, For the Public, Institutional Library Services, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Stafford Creek’s Favorite Author, Garth Stein, Visits Yet Again!

From the desk of Karen S. Diehm, Secretary Senior, Stafford Creek Corrections Center

Write fat, edit lean – Garth Stein


SCCC’s Library crew with Garth Stein (L-R): Clerks Harold E., Jacob M., and Nate H., stand with Stein, Program Manager Laura Sherbo, and SCCC Librarian Jeannie Remillard stand to the right.

On Friday, May 8th, 2015 Garth Stein made his 3rd visit to Stafford Creek Corrections Center (SCCC) . We think he’s beginning to like it here!

We originally invited Garth to SCCC due to his novel, The Art of Racing in the Rain, which is narrated by a dog. This beautiful book has over 4 million copies in print and was on the New York Times bestselling novel list for 3 years! Garth graciously accepted our invitation, met with the Freedom Tails handlers and dogs, and proceeded to discuss the book with program volunteers. With some cajoling from the handlers, Garth agreed to come back for a book read which involved the general population and was an overwhelming success.

Recently, when we contacted Garth, he was happy to visit SCCC for another book read. Not only that, but he donated all the books! This time, How Evan Broke His Head and Other Secrets was introduced to the SCCC’s general population. The theme of this novel is based around a man who has found out, long after the fact, that he has a 14 year old son. There are many offenders who have been in, or are in, this situation, so it made for a great novel of choice. garth stein

While discussing the book, many other questions came to light – especially on the art of writing itself. Stein informed his audience that the first and foremost rule of writing is: “There is no rule”. Questions abounded from the offenders ranging from dialog tagging, point of view, the voice, and the process. One by one, Garth answered all questions – and of course more questions ensued. One point Stein stressed to the offenders was: “The easiest thing to do in the world is to not write. The hardest thing to do is write – and, it’s easy to find excuses not to write.”

Among the questions asked, many offenders wanted to know how to deal with editing your work. Garth explained that is was necessary to get people you trusted and who would give you honest feedback, but to keep in mind that “other people can tell you where you went wrong, but they can’t fix it. Only the writer can fix it.”

scccAs usual, Stein’s visit was an overwhelming success. Everyone at SCCC truly appreciated him taking the time to come share his talent and knowledge, and we look forward to him coming for another book read in the future!

Washington State Library Institutional Libraries celebrate National Library Week

Friday, April 19th, 2013 Posted in Articles, For the Public, Institutional Library Services | Comments Off on Washington State Library Institutional Libraries celebrate National Library Week

WCC 2Washington State Library Institutional Libraries celebrate National Library Week. The Institutional Library Service (ILS) is a program of the Washington State Library, It consists of nine adult correctional facility libraries and two adult psychiatric hospital libraries. Our dedicated libraries embrace their mission:

“With spirit and fortitude, ILS branch staff enhances the quality of life for unique populations by providing a welcoming, neutral and secure place where informational, educational, and recreational needs are met.”

 Did you know?

 Libraries make prisons & psychiatric hospitals safer places to work and live

12,000 are incarcerated and hospitalized in Washington—8,520 are registered ILS patrons

ILS has more registered patrons per capita than the public library sector

ILS branch libraries employ prisoners and patients as clerks

ILS branch libraries maintain up-to-date re-entry resources

ILS branch libraries support and enhance basic adult education

Here’s what our Patrons have to say about ILS

“I’m just a regular guy and I actually don’t even read much…I’ve been getting some books on how to be a better father and that info is priceless…so it not only makes a difference in my life but it will make a difference in my child’s life too”. Airway Heights Corrections Center, Airway Heights, WA

 “Library is more important than gym, yard or any other recreational activity.  Reading is quiet, peaceful—a reading convict is not a problem source.  Reading causes new thought patterns to replace old negative patterns.”  Clallam Bay Corrections Center, Clallam Bay, WA

 “…Years ago when I knew nothing about schizophrenia, the library was the first place to go for information.  I am very greatfull to them for my knowledge that I share in groups, to my family, and to my support team. I am a better person for that.” Eastern State Hospital, Medical Lake, WA

To read more about our DOC and DSHS branches visit us at http://www.sos.wa.gov/library/InstitutionalLibraryServices.aspx. There are some great resources there, too.